Skip to main content

Full text of "The architect of Cologne"

See other formats


^LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.? 



i 



% 






G 
tM3 l 



| UNITED STATES OP AMERICA J 



m 



io%^'- 



THE 



Architect of Cologne, 



AND OTHER POEMS. 



£$V 



MARY ELLEN ATKINSON 



AUTHOR OF "IVY LEAVES." 







r -o< 



BOSTON: 
PUBLISHED BY D. LOTHROP & CO. 

DOVER, N. H. : G. T. DAY & CO. 



_ 



K A 



Entered, according to Act of Orngress, in the year 1873, 

IiT D. LOTHKOP & CO., 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



CONTENTS. 



1- 



The Architect of Cologne 5 

Later Poems. 

Pine Orchard 51 

Too Late 52 

Pain. 54 

The Ascension Day. 56 

Fishers 57 

In the Desert 58 

The Other Side 60 

A Kiss 62 

Intercessory 63 

A Stray Lamb 63 

Gradual Light 65 

My Neighbor 66 

The Wreckers 69 

Now 71 

St. James 72 

Good-bye, Dear. 73 

Decoration Day 75 

My Dream 76 

The Palm Tree 70 

" One Taken, and the Other Left" . . . .79 

Prayer in Sleep 80 

Midnight of the Old Year 82 

March 86 

Last Summer's Songs 87 

3 



4 CONTENTS. 

Thoughts from the Koran 89 

A Lost June 90 

Disillusion 91 

Lost Delights 91 

The Aurora 92 

A New Day 93 

Prayer for Others 93 

Lethargy 94 

" Beautiful upon the Mountains " 96 

Hemlock Falls « 97 

Better Days 100 



POEMS. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 

A. D. 1248. 

Between its lovely banks the brimming river 

Flows down to meet the sea, 
Changing its crystal water-drops forever, 

Yet one eternally. 
They pass away, these wavelets, and the ocean 

Returns them to the sky. 
The river, all unchanged in smile and motion, 

Flows on eternally. 
It does not lose one dimple, growing older, 

As year by year rolls by. 
The self-same tremulous curves around the boulder 

Hover eternally. 
Unchanged, though ever-changed, the self-same river, 

While ages change and die, 
Pride of our land, the beautiful life-giver, 

It lives eternally. 

5 



POEMS. 



An idle song. I sang it, drifting slow 

Across the Rhine from Deutz ; but, singing it, 

My thoughts sped on beyond it, and I saw 

The tiny, trickling rill among the Alps, 

Cold, rapid, glacier-born, come deepening down, 

Forceful to hold its way, and gather in 

Its brother-rills into one broadening stream, 

And not itself "to be absorbed of them, 

But grow into the proud, imperial Rhine. 

And, singing still, I thought, Oh, might my life 

Begin some work into whose deepening stream 

The work of other lives, of brain and hands, 

Of eager hearts and energetic wills, 

From age to age should flow ! And dreaming thus, 

Methought some voice made answer, (ffom the sky 

Or from the deep, I know not), " Be it so ! " 

And then I sang no more, but all my heart 

Thrilled as if entering on immortal life. 

Alas ! had I been worthy ! But the taint 

Of worldliness and selfishness had marred 

The service of my life-work. When I took 

My solemn vow to build alone for this, — 

" The praise and glory of Eternal God," 

There was a whisper in my heart, scarce heard, 

Which since hath spoken louder, " and for fame ! " . 

And now the love which burns to wild desire, 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 7 

And makes my life a burden, until I 

Create a home for Linda and for me, 

Is clamorous in my heart, and fame is still, 

And God's high praise awakes no echo there. 

And this is why I fail. For verily 

I do believe that if my heart were true 

To that sublimest purpose, if it held 

Earthly ambition and its human love 

Subordinate, high heaven itself would ope 

Its pearly gates in vision. I should take 

The peerless towers of New Jerusalem 

For pattern, and the glory of its spires. 

And those three Magi Kings, who have forgot 

The pomp and splendor of the Orient, 

Walking the golden street twelve hundred years, 

Between the many mansions heavenly fair, 

Should scarce miss aught of grandeur as they looked 

Down on the church beneath whose gorgeous pile 

In state their venerated ashes lay. 

But what avails such plan as I have drawn ? 

I looked once more upon the scroll ; so poor, 

So dwarfed my best conception, that I tore 

The roll and flung it on the sluggish stream, 

And pulled my boat to land, and sat me down 

To try for something better. With a rod 

I drew a sketch upon the level sand. 

But that was as the rest had been, a weak 



8 POL 

And poor attempt. And then I rose in wrath, 

Cursing the narrow prison of my soul, 

The meagre powers that could not what I would, 

And fiercely longing for the golden prize 

Which would have given me home and her I loved. 

And rising, face to face I found myself 

With one I had not seen before, a man 

Tall and forbidding, who was looking down 

With scornfal smile upon the sandy floor 

Whereon my mean conception still was traced, 

And waiting for no salutation, spoke. 

"Is this the highest that your thoughts can soar? 

Would a cathedral such as this content 

Count Conrad of Hochsteden, ' by God's grace/ 

| That saintly term which consecrates success 

Archbishop of Cologne ! Or take the prize 

With men like Gerhart for competitor 

See what it should be ! " and he took the rod 

And sketched upon the sand a plan sublime, 

Such as my thought had striven for in vain. 

But while I cried " How beautiful ! " and felt 

With sudden pain my lofty hopes downfall, 

And saw that not for me was prize or fame, 

When others' thoughts o'ersprung my highest flights 

As eagles far outsoar the sparrow's wing, 

He trod out all his sketch with hasty foot. 

"Masier.'" I said, "whence comest thou to bring 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 9 

Such heavenly beauty to this land of ours ? 

For well I know there is not upon earth 

So grand a building as that sketch would be, 

Built in its matchless symmetry in stone. 

I have dreamed dreams like this, but when I woke, 

The vast cathedral, with its towers sublime, 

Had vanished from my brain as utterly 

As bright auroral splendors die at dawn, 

Or pinnacles of frost-work in the sun. 

Have prayer and fasting won this boon from heaven ? " 

" Heaven ! " sneered the stranger, " mix they mortar 

there, 
Thinkest thou ? or quarry stone ? or pile it thus ? 
If this plan is the best art yet hath known, 
I tell thee there are good things not of heaven ! 
Nor think I care to win your paltry prize. 
Nay, I want men to serve me ! See, 1 count 
Retainers such as thou worth more than gold. 
Wilt thou be mine to serve my purposes 
Xow and hereafter, thy reward shall be 
The plan which thou hast seen, the archbishop's prize, 
The bride on whom thy heart is set, a home, 
And name and fame forever." Still his eyes 
Held me as with a spell I could not break, 
And I made answer, " Be thou who thou ma; 
I swear thee fealty for such reward." 
- Come then," he said, and smiled an evil smile 



IO POEMS. 

That made me shudder, " at the stroke of twelve 

To the old cell beneath the sacristy, 

To take the building-plans and sign the vow." 

Theresas a sudden, blinding lightning flash, 

Ere I had time to answer. After that 

I was alone. Not on the river bank, 

Or on the footpath leading cityward, 

Was there a trace of any traveler. 

And I went slowly homeward, wondering 

And half-affrighted, and nowise elate, 

Although the prize seemed just within my grasp. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. II 

I met my love to-night, 
My love, my own ! 
I saw her dear face lit with heavenly light, 
I heard her gentle tone, 
As she gave alms with blessing to the poor 
Who crouched beside the old cathedral door. 

I know that she had knelt 

Without a fear 
In solemn presence of her God, and felt 
The angels very near. 
The priest had blessed her, penitent and shriven, 
And on her heart fell holy clews from heaven. 

Her smile was still and calm, 

As if afar 
She heard the sweet saints sing their vesper psalm 

Bevond or moon or star. 

J 

My sad heart cried, " Oh, from this dreary strife 
My darling ! raise me to thy purer life !" 

Alas ! I did not dare 
To meet her look. 
There was a sanctity in her still air 
No guilty soul could brook. 
So, where the great wall's shade was blackest cast, 
T, her beloved, cowered till she passed. 



12 POEMS. 

Why was it that I could not face my love 
When she came down the old cathedral steps ? 
I slunk away like thief or murderer. 
And yet it was but yesterday I knelt 
At the confessional : then, shriven clean, 
I listened to the chanting of the choir, 
As one who would not be afraid to meet 
The whitest-winged archangel with his sword. 
Surely I must have sinned ! I went within 
To make confession of I knew not what. 
I told the Father all my talk with him 
I met so strangely on the riverside, 
And how at midnight in the vaulted cell 
I was to take the irrevocable vow. 
But then he said, " Alas, alas, my son ! 
Surely it was the Devil thou didst meet, 
And pledge thyself to serve forevermore ! " 
" Now God have mercy on my soul ! " I cried, 
" I thought him prince or Kaiser in disguise, 
Nursing ambitious projects of his own, 
For which he gathered men in secret league." 
" Take heart, my son ! " he said, " thou art not lost. 
Resist the devil, he will surely flee. 
Under thy feet will God tread shortly clown 
Thine adversary, who is also His. 
Do penance, fast, and watch through night's dread 
hours, 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 13 

Praying before the altar. I myself 

Will keep the vigil with thee, and perform 

At midnight hour, a high and solemn mass, 

So God will from his clutches set thee free." 

But I was thinking of the buttressed walls 

And matchless towers of the vanished sketch, 

Which swam before my eyes so changeful ly 

I knew I could not draw a line of them. 

And must I let the Archbishop's golden prize 

Be for another ? See another win, 

(Perchance, who knows ? for years of waiting waste 

Both life and love,) my Linda? By God's grace 

It shall not be ! I cannot give her up ! 

For what were life to me, what joy in life, 

Without what life was made for, love and fame, 

And honor, and success in chosen work ? 

Lo, I have found one who can give me these, 

And will. What proof he is the Evil One ? 

And if he is, he is in God's control, 

And God might send him hither. Then I said, • 

Still kneeling at the dim confessional, 

" Father, I doubt it were a mortal sin, 

To waste such golden opportunity 

To build a house for God, the like of which 

There is not upon earth. I cannot think 

But such design must come from God Himself, 

However brought to us. 'Twould surely be 



14 POEMS. 

For praise and glory of Eternal God 

To build so worthily His holy house." 

The priest kept silence for so long a time 

I marveled. When he spoke again, I thought 

His voice was thick with weeping. " Whether thou, 

My son, self-willed, art on thy ruin bent, 

Or I, beclouded, fail to see God's hand, 

I know not. If my soul were free from sin, 

God would not leave me in perplexity. 

But if we listen to our clamorous hearts, 

We cannot hear Him speaking. O my God, 

How can I guide another, who myself 

Have wandered from Thy guiding? Lord, restore 

My sinful soul, and give Thy servant light. 

Alas, that on me, all these weary years 

Of fasting, penitence, and nightly prayer, 

There has not fallen heavenly dew enough, 

Nor cooling showers of soft celestial rain, 

To put out utterly the smouldering fires 

Of human tenderness and earthly love 

Which lurk among the ashes of my heart, 

So that no sweet, fair face, no gentle voice 

Might e'er have power to thrill or move me more. 

Yet surely I but blessed her saintly face, 

As some white lily in the bowers of heaven, 

Or some pure star in holy evening skies. 

And yet, O Lord, Thy hand is hid from me 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 1 5 

So that I cannot see Thee point the way. 

Have mercy, Lord, and give Thy servant light." 

I thought of Linda as the Father spake, 

My sweet white lily, my fair shining star, 

And I was glad no priestly vow was mine. 

Then he came forth from the confessional, 

And said, " Since this admits of no delay, 

Come with me to the Archbishop." But he knelt 

Before departing, on the altar stair, 

And I, who would not pray, awaited him, 

Thinking, "Twas here that Linda passed, and there 

Her fingers touched the holy-water vase." 

No whisper told me day would light no more 

These walls familiar since my mother led 

Her little wondering boy along the aisle, 

And made him kneel before the Infant Christ ; 

I dreamed not that the sun had looked its last 

On the Cathedral, near four centuries old, 

Built in his fair new town by Charlemagne. 

The vaulted roof was lost in shadowy gloom, 

The altar-candles lit with feeble glow 

The face of Christ, Madonna, or of saint, 

And pendant lamps shone out like stars in night, 

From the surrounding dark, which seemed to press 

Upon them as the heavy shadow pressed 

Down on my light of life. And I Was glad 

When from his knees the priest arose, and led 



1 6 POEMS. 

Me forth beneath the light of moon and star 
We went in silence to the stately door 
Of the Archbishop's palace. Scarce he spoke, 
Ev'n when in presence of .His Grace I told 
My tale again. The Archbishop questioned me 
With eager interest about the plan, 
For all his heart was set on building up 
A worthy shrine for those three Magi Kings 
Whose bones were brought from poor Milan, de- 
spoiled 
By Barbarossa fourscore years ago ; 
A temple vast enough to hold the throngs 
Of pilgrims from all lands, who press to kneel, 
With costly offerings, at their feet who knelt 
Before the Blessed Babe of Bethlehem. 
'"'And if it was an evil thing," he said, 
" That talked with thee, 'twere best meet wile with 

wile; 
The church hath charms to make all devils flee. 
There is a ring upon the saintly hand 
Of King Melchior thou shalt wear to-night, 
And from the hand so guarded, man nor fiend 
Can take the bond, though written, signed and sealed; 
Only be sure thou hold the plan right fast ! " 
Armed with the Archbishop's mandate, we went forth, 
The priest and I, and found the Sacristan, 
And bade him ope the holy place, where lay 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 1 7 

Those Kings, and give me from their hand the ring. 
Then knelt the priest before the Holy Cross, 
Hour after hour, like image wrought in stone. 
The sleepy Sacristan, with nodding head, 
Sat on the pulpit stairs ; but I, with heart 
Restless and anxious beyond sleep or prayer, 
Paced slow the echoing aisles, and so the hours 
Wore wearily until the noon of night. 



l8 POEMS. 

Oh, hour of fate, Oh, fearful hour, 
I dread, yet long for, drawing nigh, 

Ope thy sealed book, and give me power 
To read my hidden destiny { 

This night may place my happy name 

For time to come, on Fame's bright scroll. 

This night may doom to endless flame 
Of hell, my too presumptuous soul. 

To-night in balance hangs my fate, 
And Satan holds the level beam. 

This jewelled ring can scarce have weight 
To turn the scale for heaven, I deem. 

And yet, — it is the Church's strife : — 
For me the priest his vigil keeps. 

Heaven strives with hell for my poor life, — 
While Linda, all unconscious, sleeps ! 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 19 

From the old belfry tolled the midnight hour, 
The heavy tones surged up the nave, and swelled 
Against the rugged walls, as ocean waves 
Roll in upon the battlemented crags 
Of rocky coasts, with thunders manifold. 
I heard the lingering, last vibration die, 
And then went down beneath the sacristy, 
Through a dark archway to the vaulted cell 
Which he upon the river-bank had named. 
Two smoking torches, in their brazen rests, 
Sent forth blue flames, whose livid glare lit up 
The mildewed walls, the old uneven floor, 
The table where the parchments lay, and him 
I came to meet, whose quiet, " Thou art come," 
Sent to my heart a chill, and to my brow 
Cold moisture, for the triumph in his tone 
Was like a trapper's when his prey is caught, 
And cannot from the snare escape alive. 
I looked upon the scrolls, and fed my eyes 
With all the wondrous beauty of the plans ; 
Then gathered up the priceless rolls in one, 
And felt once more the eager glow of hope 
Dispel the chill that shivered at my heart. 
He pushed a paper toward me, arid I read 
The wording of the bond I was to sign. 
I will not here repeat the fearful oath 
By which it bound me, nor the dreadful curse 



20 POEMS. 

To follow if I broke the horrid vow, — 

Words that I vainly pray I may forget, 

But which burn in the deeper on my brain, 

The more I shun their hated memory. 

He marked my shudder with his evil smile. 

" Thou'rt free," he said ; " if please thee not the terms, 

•Give me the roll, and hasten to begone, 

And I will find retainers otherwhere." 

" Nay, I will sign it ! " and I took the pen, 

And looked to find the inkhorn. Then he laughed. 

"No ink, my friend! Such bonds are signed with 

blood ! " 
I pressed my arm against my breast to feel 
The ring was safe within its hiding-place, 
And then I cut a little vein, and signed, 
While he sat smiling at my shaking hand 
And crooked letters scarcely legible. 
So was I sworn to serve him evermore, 
Here and hereafter. " Nay," I thought, " not I ! 
Now will I foil thee, Enemy of souls ! " 
And putting on the sacred ring, which shot 
A sudden splendor like the morning star, 
I grasped both roll and bond, and laughed aloud 
With mingled joy and terror, for his face 
Grew pale and ghastly. " In the Name," I said, 
"Of God Almighty, of our Blessed Lord, 
Christ Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, I bid 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 21 

Thy power defiance, and command thee hence ! " 
Backward he shrank, and writhed with pain, but 

shrieked, 
" In name of hell's great princes, who shall track 
Thy steps henceforth for vengeance, do I curse 
Thee and thy plan ! Thy very name be lost ! 
Unfinished stand the house forevermore, 
And from the perished parchment no man know 
Ev'n what it would have been ! Thou wilt not see 
Nor son of thine, its walls ! " Like thunder peals 
Poured forth his maledictions, while I tugged 
With fierce impatience at the rusty bar 
Across the outer door. It creaked aside, 
And let me forth beneath the silent moon. 
Out of the sulphurous smoke that choked my breath, 
Out of the sound of hellish curses dire, 
Which seemed to stop the beating of my heart 
And curdle all my blood, I staggered forth 
Into the cool and silence of the night, 
And felt as if I suddenly had flung 
My fevered limbs beneath a gliding stream, 
So chilly breathed the midnight on my brow, 
Bathing my spirit in its star-lit calm. 
I saw the archbishop's windows still alight, 
Red-gleaming from the palace front, which stood 
In shadow, while the silver moonlight poured 
A flood of radiance on the roof, and seemed 



22 POEMS. 

To trickle down in little glistening rills, 

By jutting window, pon b, or ornament. 

Thither I went along the silent street, 

And, ushered in by sleepy henchman, stood, 

Although so late, in presence of His Grace. 

"(Jut of the strife thou comest safe," he ccied ; 

"The sacred jewel on thy finger burns 

Victorious ! " Then he took the ring and scrolls, 

And when he saw the blood-signed bond, he flung 

It down upon the hearth, with muttered words 

Of exorcism, where, bursting into flame, 

It vanished in a puff of sulphurous smoke. 

And 1 sank down upon a seat beside 

The ruddy comfort of his blazing fire, 

Faint, weak, and cold. He brought me rare old 

wine 
(The cobwebbed flask stood just beside his chair, 
With silver goblets on a carven stand); 
I drank it, and the blood came coursing back, 
And loosed my lips, that seemed too chill for words. 
And then in briefest space I told him all, 
While scarce he listened, though he bade me tell, 
For he was busy with the rolls ; and first, 
He opened on ground-plans, and measurements, 
And patterns, which he cared not for, and laid 
Aside with haste. But when he came, at last, 
To gorgeous fronts, and airy spires, and towers, 



THE ARCHITL L. 23 

And bu ndows :'ul, 

And ^nd all the plan sublir: 

: ashed forth a light, his smile 

rned first well-pleased, and then triumphantly. 
But I was ar : I saw that he 

Car e he peril of my so 

And would have triumphed with an equal y. 

purpose gained, though me had ruin seized, 
and irremediable doom. 

leaving him the plans to lay bef'. 

hood of Masons and their chie£ 
In competition for the prize, I went 

h, with a bitter feelir: ^rt, 

vn the long lit street where Linda lived. 

The a taper burning in her room, 

And sudden on her snow-white curtain fell 
The shadow of her form. She drew aside 
The floating drary: rlh« 

Upon the little balcony. The night 
Smiled on her with the light of moon and stars, 

; touched with soft etherial gleam her robe 
vhite, her golden hair unbound, 
And all the tender sweetr her face. 

; started at the unexpected sound 
:eps, and would have entered hastily 
The sacred covert of her sheltered nc 
But I said L 



24 POEMS. 

Past all the swaying ivies, though she knew 

I could not reach her, crying, " Thou art here, ' 

And safe ! Now God be thanked ! for I awoke 

Convulsed with terror at some unknown ill 

That threatened thee ! " and then I saw the tears 

Fall from her eyes like pearls, and lose themselves 

Among the snow-drops at my feet. " My own ! " 

I said, " My darling ! Sleep and rest, for I 

Yet live and love thee!" Then she smiled, and 

breathed, 
" Farewell then, till the morrow ! Love, good-night ! " 
And passed behind the curtain's snowy vail. 
Glad to be near her, though I saw her not, 
I lingered till her taper ceased to burn ; 
Then whispered, " Peace be on thy sleep, dear 

heart ! " 
And so went onward, comforted with love. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 25 

What woke my Love to-night ? 

No evil thing could dare 
Her spotless soul affright, 
So fortified by prayer. 
Surely no foe could touch her as she slept, 
Where angels, lily-crowned, their still watch kept. 

Yet, if the angels spoke 

Between their folded wings, 
Doubtless she had awoke 
To sweet imaginings. 
Those heavenly guards would wake no painful fear 
In her pure heart, e'en unto angels dear. 

It may be, when I sought 

That presence dark and dread, 
Where he could aid me naught, 
My guardian angel fled. 
And woke my darling with an eager cry 
To rise and wrestle for me, lest I die. 

Or was it her own heart, 

Which holds mine e'en in sleep, 
And will not let us part, 
What way soe'er I keep, 
So that my heart in hers disturbed her rest, 
My guilty load upon her gentle breast? 



2j3 POEMS. 

God help her, who hath bound 
Her heart and life to mine ! 
God help me, having found 
A- treasure so divine,. 
To leave unmarred the sacred calm which keeps 
Her saintly spirit when she wakes or sleeps ! 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 27 

This gentle heart that loved and cared for me ■ 

Made my heart softer, reconciled my thoughts 

With humankind, and bound me to my God. 

Then I bethought me of the priest who prayed 

Before the altar. "I will go," I said, 

" And kneel beside him in the holy place, 

To give God thanks for safety and for love;" — 

And towards the old Cathedral turned my steps. 

But suddenly there came a cry of bells, 

A clanging cry that shook the shuddering air 

And surged above the dark and silent town 

As if they tolled for death or Judgment Day. 

A dolorous cry ! It seemed they surely knew 

No man who lived should ever hear them more. 

And then uprose a cloud of densest smoke, 

First black, then lurid, as red flames shot forth 

From narrow windows of the sacristy, 

And from the doorway of the cell beneath. 

The friars from the convent, hurrying up 

The wide steps worn by many worshippers, 

Made dark the vestibule. Then sudden rang 

A clang of hoofs along the awakening street, 

And Conrad, the Archbishop, at the door 

Flung him from horse and entered quickly in 

And marshaled all the frighted priests and friars, 

Like wavering troop on doubtful- battlefield. 

A crowd was gathering in the startled street, 



28 POEMS. 

When, for the last time, through those ancient doors 
Passed out in solemn order, crucifix, 
And sacred banner, and the blessed Host, 
And, borne in funeral state, the Magi-Kings. 
Pale burned the tapers, slow the censers swung, 
The little silver bells rang sharp and shrill, 
And on the pavement knelt the frighted crowd 
In silence as the awful pageant passed, — 
Archbishop, priest, and acolyte, and friar, 
Bearing the sacred vessels, ornaments, 
Relics and vestments, and the pictures snatched 
From scorching walls, of blessed saints, whose eyes 
Smiled calm in placid moonlight, and as calm 
When on them glared the flames. When all had 

passed, 
The crowd closed in to watch the mighty strife 
Of massive towers with all-devouring fire 
Which slowly overcame them. Fiercely glowed 
The painted windows, barred with shadows thrown 
By heavy mullions, till the shivered panes 
Let forth the prisoned tongues of livid flame. 
When with a crash the raftered roof fell in, 
A stifled cry went up from street and square 
In answer to the last despairing call 
Of bells, that like a household on the verge 
Of earthquake chasm, fell with one piercing shriek 
Down 'mid the fragments of their ruined home, — > 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. , 29 

Fell, crashing, jangling, breaking on the stones, 
And lay beneath a blazing funeral pile. 
Up the gray turret climbed the hungry flame, 
Catching by floor and stairway, stretching out 
Red hands of rapine from the window-slits, 
Till all the crackling ivy turned to fire, — 
A sudden splendor in the act of death, — 
Then scattered ashen leaves upon the wind, 
And all its clinging arms unloosed their hold, 
And fell, as all our hopes had fallen, dead, 
When we essayed to stop the raging flames 
And save the house of God from ruin dire. 
Naught left us but to watch the lingering death 
Of what had been our city's heart so long, 
We stood, a sorrowing multitude,. and saw 
This link which bound our present with our past 
Forever broken. Weariness, and all 
The wild transitions of the sleepless night, 
Had filled my aching brain with fever-dreams ; 
For ugly forms leaned out from wreaths of smoke 
And pointed at me ; faces in the fire 
Leered at me ; in the hiss and roar of flame 
I heard words spoken, heard the hideous laugh 
Of demons, and the mocking of fiends. 
" Speak to them, O my God ! and silence them. 
It was no work of mine, this ruin wild, 
As they affirm. Thou knowest what I did. 



SO POEMS. 

*" 4 * 

Hurried from act to act, I never strayed 

Beyond the tether of Thy fold, nor left 

The sure protection of the shepherd's crook ! " 

God sent the dawn in answer to my prayer, 

For daylight came at last, with gradual smile, 

Like child who wakes in happy innocence 

Unconscious of the horrors of the night. 

The powers of darkness fled before the sun, 

And fearful dreams and memories of ill 

Lay lifeless in the sweet new light of day. 

" What sin if on my way I chanced to meet 

One whom I knew not, and in ignorance 

Made compact with him ? Was it not for praise 

Of God and honor of His holy house ?" 

" God make it so, my son," the priest rejDlied, 

To whom I spoke, " but take this truth with thee 

Inordinate desire's idolatry ; 

And he who fiercely longs for earthly good, 

Nor bends his will to say, 'God's will be done,' 

Hath set his heart wide open to the foe, 

And death and ruin is the end thereof, 

Unless God's hand in mercy interpose." 

The father passed within the convent-gate, 

And I went homeward, (for I needed rest,) 

Past groups of women weeping at the wreck 

Of what had brought so much of life to them ; 

Weeping because no spot of earth now held 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 3 1 

The dear associations sweet and sad 

Of marriage, baptism, burial, feast and fast, 

Their first communion, and the holy joys 

Religion gives to those who hold her dear. 

And these poor souls knew naught but church and 

home. 
I think they would have pressed to kiss the stones, 
Like Jews at loved and lost Jerusalem, 
But that the sentries drove them sternly back. 
For the Archbishop set a guard to keep 
The people from the tottering walls, until 
Destruction's work was done. The last stroke fell, 
Down crashed the tower with thunders long and 

deep, 
The trembling walls gave way, and hurled them- 
selves 
On broken pillar and on shattered arch, 
And utter ruin buried hope and fear. 
I never saw that kindly priest again. 
He went, 'tis said, for penance far away 
Among the awful peaks of wintry Alps, 
And seeks lost travelers in the dreadful snows. 
God help him, it must be a dreary life ! 
And in *his place hath come a gray old man. 



32 POEMS. 

" Father," said Linda, mournfully, 

" When, looking down the years, 
I think of changes that must come, 

This mortal life appears 
Like chancel bright with tapers' blaze, 

Where comes the acolyte 
To quench them slowly, one by one, 

Till all is rayless night." 

" Change," said the old priest, solemnly, 

" Is but the steps whereby 
We climb the stairway difficult 

Which leadeth to the sky. 
Fear not, my daughter ! Set thy foot 

Upon each dreaded change. 
'Twill lift thee to a freer air, 

And give thee wider range." 

" But ah," said Linda, tearfully, 

" The saddest change of all, 
The sure, inevitable change, 

On all we love must fall. 
The dear, dear lights of life must die, 

And life itself depart : 
Therefore, like toll of passing-bell, 

Change thrills my shrinking heart." 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 33 

" Death," said the old priest, earnestly, 

"Is but the wings whereby 
We leave the steep and slow ascent, 

And gain the upper sky. 
Fear not, my daughter! Wish them joy 

Whom God to heaven doth call, 
And teach thy heart with joy to greet 

The last great change of all." 



34 POEMS. 

Brief time had I for rest. * The Archbishop's soul, 

On fire with ardor in the church's cause, 

Gave rest to none. He summoned, long ere noon, 

The Guild of Masons, to select a plan, 

Appoint Work-Master, and bestow the prize. 

A page was waiting for me at the door, 

Who bade me speak in private with His Grace, 

Before the conclave. ■ When I went to him 

He led me to a window of the hall, 

Whose deep embrasure shut us in apart, 

And said, " My son, I counsel thee, nay, more, 

Command thee, for the honor of the church, 

To avoid all scandal of malicious tongues. 

I charge thee by her sacred mysteries, 

Whose power hath guarded thee in time of need, 

To breathe no word of last night's work, nor him 

From whom thou didst obtain these precious scrolls, 

Nor to disclaim the plan, which is thine own, 

Bought by the peril of thy soul." I think 

He read my heart's remonstrance in my eyes, 

But would not hear it spoken, for he said, 

With haste and emphasis, " Thine own, my son, 

M\d not another's. All are gifts of God, 

These high conceptions, which the artist wins 

He knows not whence, and if they come to thee 

In fearful visions of the night or day, 

They are not less God's gift, nor less thine own. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 35 

Now haste thee to thy place, for all are here, 
And time and work are pressing." Then I went, 
Perplexed, bewildered \ yet I dared not doubt 
Count Conrad's wisdom. " God forbid! " I said, 
" For is he not Archbishop ? How should I, 
I a mere layman, weak and ignorant, 
Presume to question, dare to disobey ? " 
But when all other plans were laid aside, 
And mine was greeted with applauding shout, 
And when the heavy gold was in my hands, 
And all the generous Brotherhood broke forth 
In praise and gratulation, shrank my heart 
From homage undeserved. I longed to cry, 
" Not mine, not mine, my brothers ! " but a look 
From Conrad kept me silent, and he said, 
To cover my confusion, " Ah, my friends, 
This song is in his heart, ' Not unto us, 

Lord, our God, but to Thy Name be praise ! ' " 
His deep voice struck the keynote of the chant, 
And all the Brethren joined in rich accord, 

So that the hall's high arches rang again. 

The anthem ended, friendly voices cried 

That I should be Work-Master. " No, not I," 

1 said, " Not I, my brothers ! " for I felt 
I was not worthy, no, nor competent; 

" I was not made to deal with other men. 
There's none like Gerhart; let him rule the work." 



36 • POEMS. 

"Aye, then, as thy associate," they agreed, 

And so 'twas settled. How his blue eyes shone, 

As after me he rose, and rendered thanks 

For honor so conferred ! 'Twas plain to read 

His whole-souled purpose in his glowing face, 

To throw his ardent heart into the work, • 

Like sacred oil poured out on corner-stone ; 

Knowing that life, — youth, manhood, and old age, — 

"Would all be built into the ponderous mass 

Of deep foundation and of basement broad, 

On which the grander work of other lives • 

Should rise in beauty, after death had laid 

Him out of sight, as he must lay the stones 

On which the gorgeous towers will slowly rise. 

His heart was bounding with exulting joy, 

But mine lay low, nor could I lift it up, 

Although I had what yesterday I craved 

As life's most precious boon and victory, 

The longed-for prize, and home and Linda sure. 

And, wondering at myself, I said, " O God, 

How hast Thou patience to give gifts to us, 

Since what we sought with fierce desire, we take 

With listlessness, or cold, ungrateful tears? 

Did ever soul, I wonder, reaching heaven 

After its lifelong striving thitherward, 

Sit down upon the golden floor, and sigh, 

Nor stretch a hand to take the crown and palm?" 



. THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 37 

My revery was broken by the voice 

Of Conrad, who swept past me towards the door, 

In splendor of his sacerdotal robes, 

And bade us follow. Arm in arm I went 

With Gerhart, and the whole Masonic Guild 

Behind, in order, to the square, which still 

Was crowded with a mourning multitude. 

The Archbishop stood upon the broken steps, 

And when a silence fell upon the crowd, 

He said, "My children, it is come to pass 

As holy prophets spake, — a wilderness 

Is Zion now become, Jerusalem 

A desolation, and the House of God, 

Our beautiful and holy place, where oft 

Our fathers praised Him, is burned up with fire, 

And all our pleasant things are lying waste. 

And wilt Thou hold Thy peace, O God, and sore 

Afflict thy people ? Nay, the Lord hath said 

My temple shall be built again, and lo, 

The glory of this latter house shall be 

More than the former, yea, a hundred-fold. 

For brass will I bring gold, and for wood, brass, 

For stone, strong iron, and where iron was, 

Shall gleam pure silver. Unto thee shall come 

The ancient glory of Mount Lebanon,' — 

The fir-tree, and the pine and box together, — 

To beautify my sanctuary, and make 



38 POEMS. 

My footstool glorious. Lo, I lay thy stones 

With fairest colors ! thy foundations shine 

With sapphires, and thy windows I will make 

Of agates ; carbuncles thy gates, and all 

Thy borders shall be pleasant stones. Arise ! 

Shake off thy dust, O daughter of my God, 

Sit down, all glorious, on thy lofty throne ! " 

Few words he added of his own, but still 

The solemn melodies of Hebrew bards 

Rang through his speech, and echoed in their hearts 

Who listened, till a mighty cry arose, 

"The Lord hath willed it ! We will rise and build ! " 

Then the Archbishop laid in Gerhart's hands 

And mine, the ground-plan and the measurements, 

And there, in sight of all the multitude, 

Who at its vast proportions marveled loud, 

The florid cross was marked upon the ground, 

Symbol of Christ's great victory over death. 

— So was the work of centuries begun. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 39 

Without is the thorny calyx 

With many an angry spine ; 
Within are the fragrant petals 

Of texture rich and fine, 
Of glistening, spotless whiteness, 

Like robes the angels wear, 
White shreds of heavenly vesture 

Wrought into blossoms fair. 
And in the flower's deep bosom 

Beneath that pearly screen, 
Pistil and golden stamen 

Cherish sweet loves unseen. 

Without is the martial tumult 

And warfare's angry noise, 
Within is sacred music, 

And prayer, and holy joys; 
A multitude rejoicing 

With anthems glad and sweet, 
Like that which throngs God's city 

And crowds its golden street. 
And under this glad pageant 

Is hid a joy divine, 
A blessed, silent happiness, 

Sweet Linda's love, and mine. 



40 POEMS. 

For months a swarm of busy human ants 

Dug deep and broad the bed wherein to lay 

The strong foundations, while I went and came, 

From day to day, with Gerhart, wondering much 

At his great heart, which made mean labors great. 

'Twas easy for a smaller soul, like mine, 

With thankful joy that God accounted me 

Not all unworthy of so grand a task, 

To build my thought upon the wondrous plan, 

Think out the detail of its ornament, 

And study how the work were best achieved ; 

To sail the stream, and search its rock-ribbed hills 

For building-stones of beauty and of strength ; 

Select the crag of frowning Drachenfels, 

Command its seven-fold mountain-hold to yield 

Its porphyries for the service of our God 

And of His church ; and bid the opposing cliffs 

Of Unckel-Bruch give up their dark basalt 

For massive blocks alternate with the gray, 

Such task, I say, was easy e'en for me. 

But with the same high look of energy 

And calm enthusiasm of holy joy 

Lighting his thoughtful brow and earnest eyes, 

Gerhart went down to chaffer with the men 

Whose lazy barge should float the great blocks down 

Those six blue leagues of river to Cologne, 

Or show the stupid laborer where to ply 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 41 

His pick and spade, or dump his barrow-load. 

But all such work was hateful unto ine. 

Blessed is he upon whose daily task 

Pro Christo et Ecdesiae is writ ! 

The Holy Name ennobles all the toil, 

The toil ennobles him who stoops to it. 

And so I saw my Gerhart daily grow 

Great with the greatness of his steadfast aim. 

In some degree I grew with him. Such souls 

Are bread of life to those who know and love 

Their inner beauty, while themselves are fed 

Fresh from the fullness of Almighty God. 

Spring passed, and summer days sped on apace, 

Days lurid with the thunder-clouds of war. 

For when Death 'struck the sceptre from the hand 

Of Henry of Thuringia, scarcely crowned, 

Two rose to grasp it, and the conflict raged. 

Like the tough oak that seems to laugh at storms 

Which test, but cannot break its mighty strength, 

The Archbishop hurled defiance at the foe. 

I never saw him wear a loftier smile, 

Than when, through those five stormy months of 

siege, 
He rode the streets with William by his side, 
His kinsman and the Emperor of our choice. 
He would not let our work be hindered. " Nay," 
He said, " God's temple shall be built, although 



42 POEMS. 

We raise the walls thereof in troublous times ! " 

For me, I cared no more for war or siege, 

Methinks, than did the birds 'neath Linda's eaves, 

Which saw her garden lilies slow unfold 

The fragrant beauty of their snowy blooms. 

Did I not watch her daily as she wrought 

The snow-white lilies of her bridal vail ! 

So drew the Eve of the Assumption on, 

A day of clays ! A glorious summer day 

Of August splendor, when with joy we laid 

The corner-stone ; when I, who felt the work 

Was worthy of the hands of kings, was glad 

To see the horde of peasants standing back, 

While nobles crowded with uncovered heads 

Around the broad foundation of God's house, 

A glittering band. Count Conrad first of all, 

In sacerdotal robes, the Emperor, 

The Dukes of Limburg and Brabant, the Count 

Of Guildres, and the Legate of the Pope, 

And many a lordly Knight of high degree. 

The Archbishop chiseled on the massive stone 

The sacred symbol of our faith, and poured 

The consecrated oil, and sprinkled showers 

Of holy water, while he blessed the work 

In words of prayer and high exultant hope ; 

And all the city echoed the Amen. 

Then moved the vast procession thrice around 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 43 

The cruciform foundations, king and priest, 

Clergy and soldiers, with the voice of song, 

Trumpet and cymbal and the roll of drums, 

And softer, sweeter music intermixed, 

A glorious chant, — " Upon the holy mount 

Is his foundation. Zion's sacred gates 

More than all Jacob's tents the Lord doth love. 

O City of our God ! what glorious things 

Of thee are spoken, and shall be fulfilled ! 

Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel, 

Father and Lord, both now and evermore ! 

Thine is the greatness, Thine the victory, 

The majesty, the glory and the power, 

For all in heaven and all in earth is Thine. 

But we are strangers, sojourners on earth, 

Whose days are as a shadow, none abide. 

But Thou remainest. And Thy house shall stand 

While generations come, adore Thy Name, 

And vanish like a breath of incense smoke. 

Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel, 

Father and Lord, both now and evermore ! " 

And when the march had ended, and the psalm 

Sank into silence, the Archbishop stood 

Above the people, and with outspread hands 

Gave them his benediction. Then the throng 

Slowly dispersed ; while with full heart I went, 

And Gerhart with me, to the ancient church 



44 POEMS. 

Where sleeps St. Ursula, with all her train, 
Her fair eleven thousand martyred maids, 
O joy of joys ! to meet my peerless bride, 
My lily-flower of heaven in spotless white, 
To take her to me for my very own, 
To pledge her all the service of a heart 
That beat for only her, my Angel-bride, 
My Linda ! Then I led her to our home, 
While purple splendors in the burning west, 
A marvelous sunset glory, crowned the day, 
The bright meridian day of all my life. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 45 

Flowerless the palm-tree stands, 

Year after weary year ; 
The lonely desert lands 

Surround it, bare and sere, 
The thirsty desert sands 

Drink every dewy tear. 

The blazing desert sky 

Glares like the eye of fate, 
The scorching winds sweep by, 

The tree stands desolate ; 
Its Angel hears its sigh, 

And softly whispers, " Wait ! " 

Slow comes its supreme hour 

When bursts the patient thing 
In ecstacy of flower, 

Excess of blosseming, 
One short fierce joy its dower 

Of beauty and of spring. 

One only, — for the wild 

Delirium of bloom 
Which clothes the desert's child 

With splendor and perfume, 
Brings death where rich life smiled, 

Brings swift and certain doom. 



46 POEMS. 

Nay, need I tell the rest ? Four years of joy 
Shine down the long sad vista of my thoughts, 
Bright with the cherub-faces of our babes, 
Our boy and girl, and Linda's happy smile 
That beamed above them, like Madonna's eyes 
Above the Holy Child. Four years of joy, 
Four short and happy years ! then set my sun, 
And sank my beaming star, and on my moon 
Fell drear eclipse ; and I am all alone, 
And it is night. For Linda sleeps in death, 
And on her bosom lies our noble boy. 
When, after bitter pain and long despair, 
The passing years had brought a little hope, 
Each adding grace and stature to the child, 
The one ewe-lamb that Linda left with me, 
I thought, " If Gerhart's son should wed my girl, 
Some child of theirs might carry on our work, 
And see its grand perfection, — with his eyes 
Beholding what 1 only see in dreams." * 

And in good sooth I thought he loved the girl, 
And with what little skill I had to read 
The foreign language of a maiden's heart, 
I spelled out many a character of love 
In my Bertalda's life from day to day. 
What hidden worm was in that bud of hope, 
What blight destroyed that precious flower of love, 
1 never knew, I only saw the change. 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 47 

For Gerhart's son took on him holy vows, 
And sweet Bertalda hid her life away 
Behind the convent-bars ; and all these years 
I stand without and all alone ; outside 
The Convent-walls, outside the pearly gates, 
Beyond the one my little daughter is, 
Beyond the other, Linda and the boy. 
Count Conrad of Hochsteden, rest his soul ! 
Our greatest of archbishops, went to heaven, 
Ere the great work began its fourteenth year. 
And neither Engelbert's nor Siegfried's soul 
Has burned with half the ardor that he felt. 
He never would have spent, as they, in wars, 
The moneys given for God's sacred house. 
But as the work is God's, He hath not let 
The wrath. of man prevail against it. Still 
In time of war and in the sadder days 
When lay our city 'neath the curse of Rome, 
Under the ban, and excommunicate, 
The sacred work went on, and never ceased. 
Whereby I learn to trust that God can bless 
And give prosperity, whatever voice 
May utter maledictions. This I think 
To calm my troubled heart when I awake 
From frequent dreams of terror, when a voice 
Speaks to me which I heard long years ago. 
Still Gerhart live^ His ever-youthful heart 
Hath never lost its tireless energy, 



48 POEMS. 

Its courage, or enthusiastic glow. 

Nay, oftentimes I think his cloudless eyes 

Catch, in these latter days, some shining ray 

Of heavenly dawn beyond earth's western hills, 

Sunrise o'erlapping sunset on his soul. 

If ever one whom I have known on earth 

Might stand unchanged in perfect light of heaven, 

And meet the eyes of saints or seraphim 

With pure, untroubled gladness in his own, 

And take up all the grand celestial tasks, 

And live the blessed life of heavenly days, 

And find it but a simple natural thing 

Even so to live, — that soul is Gerhart's own. 

And if but one thanksgiving unto God 

Might pass my lips before death's silence fell, — 

More than for Linda, darling of my life, 

More than for little son, whose smiling face 

Awaits me at the door of heaven, and more 

Than for Bertalda, fair young bride of Christ, 

I bless him for my long companionship 

With Gerhart's large, warm heart and noble soul. 

I have been wasting many a dreary hour 

In vain and passionate regrets for all 

The weakness and mistakes of all my years, 

And vainly dreaming how it might have been, 

If, when the tempter spoke, and promised me 

My heart's desire of all the world contained 

For guerdon if I bowed my knee to him, 



THE ARCHITECT OF COLOGNE. 49 

jld have answered, like the Blessed Christ, 
t thee behind me, Satan ! " and have prayed 
God sent down His Angel Gabriel, 
Sweet-voiced and beautiful, to show me how 
A miracle of beauty should be built 
For praise and glory of His holy Name. 
Alas ! I fear that such a deed as mine, 
Built in the basement stones of such a work, 
Must mar the temple, and though noble minds 
Give their best thoughts for centuries, this flaw 
Cannot be remedied. Sometimes in dreams 
I see the spacious nave and lofty choir, 
High door and arch, and flying buttress light, 
And figured roof like damask-curtained tent, 
And windows like the flower-beds of heaven,. 
But all the transept wanting ! Then I cry, 
"O God, Thou hast accepted Gerhart's work, 
And mine Thou hast rejected ! Thou art just ! " 
But other-whiles I see the whole complete, 
Magnificent and vast, a glorious house.. 
Long shafts of light slant down the solemn space, 
The darksome, haunted shadows melt away, 
Sweet music fills the vaulted arches high,. 
And on the altar-stair I kneel and say, 
"Blessed be God, who hath accepted me !'" 
So be it, Lord ! Thou art my trust ! Amen. 



50 POEMS. 

Incomplete ! 
Master, Thou seest this poor work of ours ! 
Thou knowest, Lord, how narrow are our powers, 

For thou didst mete 
His talents out to each as was Thy pleasure. 
Thine angels, made by so much larger measure, 

From their high seat, 
Their lofty throne in the Celestial City, 
Look down upon our paltry tasks with pity ; 

But Thou, O sweet 
Compassionate Saviour, who wast born of woman, 
Taking our nature on Thee, lowly, human, 

Dost stoop to greet 
The humble fruit of all our poor endeavors, 
And without scorn acceptest it forever, — 

We lay it at Thy feet ! 



LATEH POEMS. 



PINE-ORCHAKD, 



They stand between the mountains and the sea, 
These green, spice-breathing pines upon the hill, 
And in their fragrant shade I sit and look 
Down to the harvest-fields of summer toil, 
Out to the boundless quiet of the deep. 

Peace in the sunny, silent harvest-field ! 
Where weary hands have wrought in other days, 
The golden sheaves are bound and piled in ricks, 
Ready and waiting to be garnered in, 
Each with its little shadow at its foot. 

And yonder on the sea a deeper peace ; 
Blue level lines of tranquil changeless rest, 
Unshadowed, infinite, not won by toil, 
But flowing calm beneath the smile of God, 
And brightening till it mingles with the sky. 

'51 



52 POEMS. 

And overhead the pines make music sweet, 
A million voices blended into one, 
A multitudinous murmur like the waves, 
Or some grand chorus sung by happy choirs 
Beyond the ocean, or beyond the clouds. 

Behold, our life includes them all, — the sheaves, 
The light and shadow in the harvest-field, 
The boundless peace which lives for us in God, 
The present, with its rest and healing balms, 
And angels singing to us from afar! 



TOO LATE. 



When I have crossed the River 
And stand in crystal glow 

Which never shed its radiance 
On this dull World below, 

And when among the blessed 
Who throng the heavenly shore, 

O dear one, I behold thee 
Whom here I see no more 



TOO LATE. 53 

Since I beheld thee lying 

Calm in thy pulseless sleep, — 

Though we be both in heaven 
My soul will surely weep. 

Weep for the days departed, 

Thy weary days of care, 
When thou didst lift the burdens 

I might have helped thee bear. 

The noble work remaineth 

Thy patient hands have wrought, 

In which thy fond heart vainly 
My sympathy besought. 

Thy sweet love fell upon me 

Like starlight on the snow, 
Which lies unkindled, frozen, 

Beneath the heavenly glow. 

Thy love lay round my pathway 
Like flowers beneath my feet, 

Bruised by my careless footsteps, 
Yet fair and soft and sweet. 

O heart, repelled so coldly, 
« ' So heedless from me cast ! 
The unknown angel of my life 
I recognize at last. 



54 POEMS. 

love, used like a common thing, 
Too late thou art confessed 

God's slighted gift most precious, 
Which might have made me blest. 

And now that thou hast left me, 
I miss thy love unprized, 

1 miss that priceless heart of thine, 

So long unrecognized. 

I weep for days departed, 
In which I might have given 

The aid thy spirit yearned for, 
But needs no more in heaven. 

Because I failed to bless thee 
In days that come no more, 

My tears are falling, and must fall 
Even on heaven's golden floor. 



PAIN. 

Who is it holds me with such rigid clasp, 
Me, lying anguished in the dark, alone? 

I cannot shun his strong o'ermastering grasp, 
He heeds no passionate prayer nor bitter moan. 



PAIN. 



55 



Long have I striven to free me from his hold, 
But only deeper sinks his rankling dart, 

Till feeble fear supplants my courage bold, 

And all the strength has melted from my heart. 

I struggle now no longer for release;, 

Thou power unknown ! but let me see thy face, 
Let me but know thee, and my soul will cease 

To tremble in thy terrible embrace. 

Thou wert a fierce malignant fiend, I deemed, 
Who laughed to see his victim lying low ; 

But through the dark, of late, meth ought there gleamed 
Angelic wings, just touched with heavenly glow. 

And if thou art an angel sent from heaven, 

Who bringest me some message from my Lord, 

My soul would bless Him for the grace so given, 
And welcome e'en thy sharp and grievous sword. 

But if thou art not, — then alas for me ! 

I know not where I am, and all is night ! — 
He spoke not, and I waited anxiously 

For whispered word, or glimmering ray of light. 

'Twas not the angel's, but the Master's voice 
Which broke the silence of my doubt, and said, 

" My messenger shall work thee good : rejoice I 
I chasten whom I love : be comforted ! " 



56 POEMS. 

And I am comforted, since 1 am sure, 
This unseen wrestler is His angel, Pain. 

Now patiently, yea, gladly, I'll endure, 

Till Christ, who sees me suffer, bids me reign. 



THE ASCENSION DAY. 



What is there left? Our hearts were very glad, 
They burned within us at His gracious words, 
Which stirred us up to hope and purpose high, 
They melted at His tones of tenderness, 
As words of blessing fell on us like dew. 

What is there left ? Before His voice was still, 

Behold, He stood no longer on the earth, 

But parted from us slowly, floating up 

Like some white vapor on a summer morn ; 

Then stooped a cloud, and hid Him from our sight. 

What is there left ? As we stood gazing up 
Into the awful splendors of that light 
In which He vanished, on our faces fell, 
And on our hearts, all desolate and chill, 
The shadow of our dear departing Lord. 



FISHERS. 57 

What is there left ? In loneliness and grief, 
Should we have known unless an angel came ? 
But he hath told us. There is left us Work, 
Work for the Master, till He come again, 
And there is left us Hope, for He will come. 



FISHERS. 



My hands are tired with labor long and vain, 

And heart and brain 
Are fain to let the weary work down fall, 
And do no more of all my task at all. 

But I remember how, upon the Sea 

Of Galilee, 
The tired disciples heard the Master say, 
" Let down the nets ere breaks the golden day ! " 

And they made answer, " We have toiled all night, 

And morning light 
Finds our "nets empty, and our courage low; 
Yet we will lower them if Thou bid us so." 

And, casting them, half faithless, on the tide, 

O'er the boat's side, 
Behold, the nets were full ! and sail and oar 
Brought in the unhoped treasure to the shore. 



58 POEMS. 

Was He then watching while they wrought in vain 

With toil and pain, 
Thinking him far away, — asleep, — or caring 
Naught for their weariness or their despairing ? 

So, while I labored, hath He doubtless been 

By me, unseen, 
And, knowing my discouragement, doth say, 
To try my faith, " Let down thy nets to-day." 

Here then once more I cast them from the prow, 

Shall it be now 
That long-deferred success my work shall crown ? 
I know not ; — but my net will I let down. 



IN THE DESERT. 



The lone and dreary desert, 

By heat and drought accurst ! 
Mirages gleam around us, 
But lo ! we die of thirst ! 

Nay, but a fount is opened 

In Horeb's flinty side ; 
List to the rush of waters, 
The pure abundant tide ! 



IN THE DESERT. 59 

My soul is faint with hunger. 

Here is no harvest-field, 
No vineyard and no garden, 
Its precious fruit to yield. 

No : but at early morning, 

When falls the blessed dew, • 
Let us go forth, for surely 
God's manna falleth too. 



Among the dangerous mountains, 

Across the trackless plain, 

We go we know not whither, 

We toil and strive in vain. 

Nay, for the Lord is with us, 
He knows the devious way, 
His cloud moves on before us, 
To guide us, lest we stray. 

By day the scorching sunlight 
Burns on the blinding sand ; 
By night the lonesome darkness 
Glooms o'er the deadly land. 

Nay, for the cloudy pillar 

Its cool deep shadow throws, 
And with its fiery splendors 
All night our pathway glows. 



60 POEMS. 

The way is long and dreary, 

Year after slow-paced year, 

My heart grows faint and weary, 

With toil and pain and fear. 

Ah, view the Land of Promise ! 

The trouble of the way 
From heart and mind will vanish 
Like mists at break of day. 

There rolls the turbid River, 
Between us and that shore. 
How stem the rapid current ? 
How cross the billows o'er ? 

God, with His word of power, 
Will bid the stream divide. 
We shall go up triumphant 
Upon the farther side. 



THE OTHER SIDE. 



Over the valley lies a cloudy pall, 

On wet brown fields the dreary rain-drops fall, 

As they have fallen all the cheerless day. 
O'er western hills there burns no faintest glow, 
But earth and sky more gray and sullen grow, 

As the grim daylight slowly dies away. 



THE OTHER SIDE. 6 1 

No blessed ray of light and hope, — no star, 
To tell us, by its smile, of joys afar, 

Or with its golden lance to slay our doubt. 
In shrouding mist the hills have lost their crown, 
The swollen stream beneath the fog rolls brown ; 

Our hearts reflect the gloom of all without. 

Oh for an eagle's wing to mount and fly 
Beyond the cloudy screen which hides the sky, 

And see the glory of the other side ! 
A sea of surging vapor, pure and white, 
Beneath the gladness of unbroken light, 

Tossing its foamy billows far and wide. 

There glows the sunset splendor. Gorgeous hues 
On fair cloud-mountains blend and interfuse, 

And rosy flushes kindle and expire. 
There moonlight pours its flood of radiance sweet, 
Till long cloud-ridges shine like heaven's own street, 

And clear stars scintillate their soul-like fire. 

Alas, beneath what glories manifold 

We toil along earth's deserts dark and cold, — 

The splendor hidden and the light concealed ! 
Sing, Faith and Hope, strong angels of the night ! 
" The cloud must pass ! Eternal is the light ! " 

Sing of the glory till it is revealed. 



62 POEMS. 



A KISS. 



Come closer, closer, love, 

Till thy warm heart against, my own beats fast. 
Now let me touch those longing, passionate lips, 

And drink sweet love fresh from thy heart at last. 

I've thirsted for it, dear, 

As flowers in drought droop for the dew's caress. 
Kiss me again, until my soul revive, 

At the dear touch of perfect tenderness. 

From thy sweet lips all trace 

Of earthly trouble, care, and long unrest, 
Hath melted like a cloud in sunny air, 

And left them as an angel's, calm and blest. 

In that dear sudden glow 

Of perfect joy and love, I recognize 
The angel-face that shall be, when we stand 

Together in the world beyond the skies. 



INTERCESSORY. 63 

INTERCESSORY. 



If tears of mine could wash his sin away, 

The bitter rain 
Would fall all night, as thus I kneel to pray 

In doubt and pain. 
But, O my Saviour, let Thy blood avail 

To purge his stain, — 
Thy dear heart's precious blood ! It cannot fail, 

Though tears be vain. 

If I his wayward hand in mine could have, 

And lead to heaven ! 
Or with my out-poured love, — or life, — could save, 

Glad were it given. 
Nay, Lord, save Thou ! O Saviour, lay Thy hand 

Upon his heart, 
And guide him so ! His heart can ne'er withstand 

The love Thou art ! 



A STRAY LAMB. 



O tender Shepherd, gather my lamb 

Into Thy fold ! 
How can I sleep while he is astray 

On the mountains cold ? 



64 POEMS. 

Behold, I watch through the perilous night, 

With dreary fears, 
Seeking my lamb with longing eyes, 

That are dim with tears. 

infinite Heart, that for such as he 

Bore mortal woe, 
Is he not dearer to Thee than to me, 
Though I love him so ? 

Seeking my lamb o'er the mountain side 
And waste forlorn, 

1 meet Thee, Shepherd, with bleeding feet 

And crown of thorn. 

And while, thus watching, I hope and pray 
The long night through, 

It is comfort and rest to feel and know 
Thou art watching too. 

And surely Thou, with Thy rod and staff 

Will fold him in, 
Safe, safe at last from the snares of the foe, 

And the wilds of sin. 

Oh, if he came not, my soul would stand 

At the pearly gate, 
Missing my lamb from the heavenly fold, 

And weep and wait. 



GRADUAL LIGHT. 65 

Speak to me, comfort me, Lord of life ! 

Make me sure of this, — 
That he will be with me before Thy throne, 

In the world of bliss. 



GRADUAL LIGHT. 



'Tis surely morn ! Slow passed the dismal night. 

When heavy lay the midnight on my soul, 
A weight of darkness, then I prayed for light, 

And longed to see the murky curtain roll 
Back from my sky. God sent no sudden day, 
Only a lighter shading of the gray. 

So little lighter, many rays had crept 
Across the shadows in the dreary room, 

Before my weary eyes, which, watching, wept, 

Perceived that dawn had breathed across the 
gloom, 

— With such slow steps sweet spring came back 

again, 

— So slow dawned health upon my night of pain. 

Now I, who from the depth of my desire, 

Have craved a boon more dear than light of morn, 

Or flush of spring, or health's rekindling fire, 
Do give God hearty thanks for hope new-born, 

5 



66 POEMS. 

Not waiting now for sheen of risen sun, 
Or violet perfume hailing spring begun. 

I think the angels of the early dawn, 

Who bring the tokens of our answered prayers, 
Must oft-times wonder at the sighs long-drawn, 

And bitter tears which greet their tender cares, 
And long to cry, " O faithless one, arise ! 
The blessing thou hast asked before thee lies ! " 

In faith I reach my eager hand to take 
The answer to my prayer, although as yet 

I only see a little glimmering break 

Between the heavy clouds. God will not let 

His promise fail. I bless the earliest ray, 

I will rejoice in hope, till glows the perfect day. 



MY NEIGHBOK. 



" I like him not ! " I said, 
"His faults annoy me, and his weaknesses 

Half anger me." But then I hung my head 
Because a mocking spirit answered, "Yes, 
Thou doest well to scorn him ; thou, forsooth, 
So wise, so strong, perfection's self, in truth ! " 



MY NEIGHBOR. , 67 

I quailed before his scorn, 
The stern accuser sped his shaft so well. 

But of such shame sweet love was never born. 
Then on mine ear an angel's accents fell, 
" Thy Saviour loves him. To that sacred breast 
His heart, with all its weaknesses, is pressed." 

" Sure eyes divine can see 
Faults more than human sharpness e'er descried," 
I said. The angel mused, " What hope for thee, 
Or comfort thence ? " and then his mute surprise 
Changed slowly to a look which seemed to say, 
"How dark thy night, poor blinded child of clay!" 

" Behold ! " he cried ; and lo, 
Before me lay the arena of a life. 

It was my neighbor who was striving so, 
And powers of Good and Evil watched the strife. 
I looked from out a cloudy citadel, 
And marked, with demons round me, what befell. 

Weary and weak he seemed, 
And oft-times by his mighty foes o'erborne ; 

And when he failed, malicious pleasure gleamed 
In eyes satanic, shouts and gibes of scorn 
Proclaimed his errors to the unfeeling crowd, 
Who hailed his wounds with laughter long and loud 



68 POEMS. 

I heard a demon say, 
"I like him not! " and on my neighbor fell 
Such shadow from the ugly form that lay 
Athwart the sunshine, shadow born of hell, 
That every ray of beauty paled and died, 
And faults and weaknesses were magnified. 

Shuddering, I stretched my hands 
Toward the blue parapet where angels leant, 
And lo, I stood among their radiant bands, 
And from their place my wondering gaze I bent 
Upon the wrestler, on whose brow there shone 
A glory I had never seen nor known. 

These angels, yea, and Christ 
Beheld the man transfigured. Weaknesses 

Were-, propped by faith, which for his need sufficed, 
And pi Dved itself more strong than mere strength is ; 
His f?ults forgiven fostered depth of love, 
The saintly beauty of the Blest above. 

" For this dear soul we care ! " 
The loving angels whispered, and their eyes 

Beamed brighter as he grew more pure and fair, 
And tenderer with their helpful sympathies. 
" Starry his crown," they said, " and glorious ! 
When will he come to dwell and rest with us ? " 



THE WRECKERS. 69 



They faded from my sight, 
The demon-faces in their hideous rows, 
The fair angelic hosts in order bright, 
The hot arena with its ringing blows : 
But there my neighbor stands. Henceforth I share, 
" For this dear soul," the angels' loving care. 



THE WRECKERS. 



Night on the sea, — a sullen roar 
Of surf along the dangerous shore, 
The heavy sobs of storm scarce o'er, — 

Low thunders from the midnight sky, 
And now and then a piercing cry 
Of seamen in their agony. 

Our boat is plunging on the wave ; 
Oh, for more light, more power to save 
Those lost ones from their stormy grave ! 

We strain our laboring arms ; we call ; 
By lightning-flash we see some fall 
Down the black gulfs which threaten all. 



7C POEMS. 

What hope ? so weak our uttermost ! 
O God, behold us tempest-tossed ! 
Dost Thou not care that men are lost ? 

A calm voice said, " Who thinks that He, 
The loving God of land and sea, 
Cares less for human souls than ye?" 

An angel at the tiller spoke, 

Put darkness from him like a cloak, 

And smiled as forth the radiance broke. 

"Ye knew not who your life-boat steered, 
Lo, swifter than ye knew, ye neared 
The perilled souls for whom ye feared ! 

"Up, work like men, nor be dismayed ! 
Remember, when your heart's afraid, 
Who works for God hath heavenly aid." 



NOW. 7 1 

NOW. 

" To-morrow ! " so thou sayest, and evermore, " To- 
morrow ! " 
And when to-morrow cometh, the self-same word is 
spoken. 
So the long years drift thee downward, from listless- 
ness to sorrow, 
Thy life's high deeds undone, thy youth's bright 
promise broken. 

To-day ! Oh, look ! To-day is drifting down Time's 
river ! 
To-day ! Oh, wake ! To-day's sweet light is fast 
decaying ! 
No other day is thine of all the vast Forever. 

Begin life's work to-day ; there's ruin in delaying. 

Trust not the beckoning future, with promise vain 
and hollow, 

To-day's sad setting light is urging, Now, or never ! 
Thy Now must set the path Eternity must follow, 

Now strike the key-note of the music of Forever. 



72 POEMS. 



SAINT JAMES. 



In that sad night when Christ the Lord was dead, 
And they had laid Him in His rock-hewn bed, 
Saint James, heart-grieved and self-reproachful, said, 

" Since He who was our Light of life, hath died, 
Abandoned by His friends, betrayed, denied, 
Forsaken, yea, by me ! and crucified, 

" I will not taste of water or of bread, 
I will not take my rest upon my bed, 
Until He bid me, risen from the dead." 

"Eat!" urged his brethren, "comfort thee from pain, 

By Roman soldiers truly was he slain, 

And, He being dead, thy fast and prayer are vain." 

But, steadfast to his vow, his tearful eyes 
Caught a new meaning in the sacrifice, 
Saw a new glory in the fair sunrise. 

And then came One with pierced hands and feet, 
That Easter morn, who spoke in accents sweet, 
" Behold Me risen, beloved S Rise and eat ! " 



GOOD-BYE, DEAR. 73 

He gave him sparkling water and white bread, 
His loving, grieving heart he comforted, 
But no one knoweth what the Master said. 

Saint James hath kept the secret that is his, 
The smile, the word of love, the sacred kiss, 
Unuttered, incommunicable bliss. 

Yea, and for us awaits, by God's good grace, 

When death hath set our feet on heaven's high place, 

An hour with Christ alone, and face to face ! 



GOOD-BYE, DEAR. 



There's a golden mist on the river, 

The sunrise strikes it through ; 
The thrush is loud in the thicket, 

The grass is a-glitter with dew. 
The young blue eyes of my darling, 

Look into the golden cloud, 
The great wide city lies just beyond, 

And his heart is beating loud. 
Well, good-bye, dear. 



74 POEMS. 

His brow is aglow with the sunrise, 

Hope beams in his shining eyes, 
Over the river and through the mist, 

His sunny pathway lies. 
There; at the foot of the rainbow, 

Is his prize of fairy gold ! 
Yonder 's the door of his castle of air ! 

His heart is eager and bold. 
Well, good-bye, dear ! 

One passionate kiss from his warm red lips, 

One smile from bis sweet blue eyes, 
Then his quick hand grasps the tiller, 

And away the shallop flies. 
His voice rings clear and cheery, 

His heart is brave and light ; 
The golden mists close round him, 

They have hid him from my sight. 
Well, good-bye, dear ! 

Not a word of mine shall darken 

His rosy glamor of morn, 
Not a shadow shall dim his pathway, 

Of my dull despondence born. 
But by that kiss at our parting, 



DECORATION DAY. 75 

The boy will surely know 
How gladly my heart will receive him, 
If all should not prove so ! — 
Well, good-bye, dear ! 



DECORATION-DAY. 



I go not forth to-day. 
For this one day I leave to other feet 
The year-long unfrequented silent street 

To his lone dwelling. Nay, 
Take ye the flowers, my sisters, I will stay. 

I could not bear, indeed, 
To see the idle faces of the crowd, 
To hear their careless praises, cold and loud, 

While from the stone they read 
That name whose utterance makes my sore heart 
bleed. 

Ah, when the day is done, 
And all the world hath left him to his rest, 
With flowers slow-fading o'er his head and breast, 

I will go forth alone 
Where chilly moonlight wraps his burial-stone. 



j 6 poi ms. 

Mine i v « the pre< ious ( i.i\ 
I'll place the heaped up blossoms, fail and sweet, 
The people's grateful ti Ibute, al his feet, 

But o'ei his heai I in i.i\ 
The white rose oi my love, which blooms alway, 



MY DREAM. 



What Is it thai I dreamed ? 
in truth i know not. Vet at morn meseemed 
I'd been among the angels. 1 f one leaned 
( )ver the ci ystal battlements of heaven, 
\iul from his radiant hands to mine was given 
\ heavenl} gift, .1 \ ase of 1 ichei woi 1I1 
Than purest gleaming diamond of earth, 
O'erflowing with .1 subtle essence fine, 

cii grapes, perchance, from some celestial vine, 
1 cannot tell, 1 think it may ha\ e been. 
on when we sleep the angels come unseen 
A ihI bless us with a joy so full and deep 
Its strong throbs break the fragile bai of sleep ; 
Oui heart, awakened by theii touch, upsprings, 
And sees tlu v gleam of their depai ting wings. 
M\ dream was shattered, Bubble like, it broke j 



MY DREAM. 77 

Bui still there shone around me when I woke 
A spii i1 light, like thai whi< b lingers yd 
Above the horizon where the moon has set. 
The air was odorous with a balm outp< ured, 
A perfume in the heavenly gardens stored, 
Whose lingering fragrance sweetens day and night, 
A faint, intangible, bu1 real delight. 

For thou, Beloved, in my dream didsl come 

Down from the splendors of thy heavenly home, 

( )ui oJ the sunny stillness of thy rest, 

To fold me once again upon thy breast, 

And utter words of tenderness divine, 

Consoling me as never voii e bul thine 

Had power to comfort. Ah, (lit: words were lost 

Between the Bleep and waking, foi the i oast 

Of thai inn', i fair Atlanta land of souls 

Lies in beyond the silent sea, whi< h rolls 

Its dark unfathomable depth around 

The earthly prison house where we are bound. 
Yd, waking, all my puis*-, leap and thrill, 
My heart beats loud and fast ; [ cannot still 
Its passionate cry. O, I have, been with thee • 
Tliy kiss is on my lips ; moi I sVeel and free 
And intimate was our communion, warm 
Thy throbbing bosom and thy clasping arm. 
Thy radiant smile, thy loving soulful eyes, 



78 POEMS. 

Full of unbounded tender sympathies, 

Thy kindly, helpful hand, thy heart which gave 

All that the deepest yearning love could crave, 

Thyself, Beloved, all was mine again 

For one blest hour. Henceforth, through want or 

pain, 
Through cold or hunger, I will treasure this 
Sweet promise of a boundless store of bliss 
Laid up for me and thee. 'Twill come at last, 
The dream was of the future, not the past. 

Would it had stayed with me, entire, unbroken ! 
But not a word of all that thou hast spoken 
Abides with me. Yet lingers sweet and clear 
A touch of heavenly comfort, loving cheer, 
A warmth and glow of tenderness, a sense 
Of some divine and sacred confidence 
Which brings thee nearer to me evermore, 
And nearer, dearer, all the heavenly shore, 
Where happier than the happy past, more sweet, 
Shall be our union when again we meet, 
From whose unclouded skies this golden gleam 
Hath touched me in a half-evanished dream. 



THE PALM-TREE. 79 



THE PALM-TREE. 



FROM THE GERMAN OF VON SCHENK. 

What vigor hath the palm-tree e'en when young ! 

Lo, once, its yet unhardened strength to try, 

A block of marble on its head was flung, 

And being so crushed, all thought that it must die. 

But gradual rose the stem. Its shaft upbore 

The heavy load which seemed to weigh it down. 

The burdened plant, a kingly palm-tree, wore 

Its leaf-encircled stone for royal crown. 

This palm is like a soul that lives in God, 

Which early bears affliction's heavy load, 

And seems beneath the burden sorely bent. 

It grows the stronger for the weight of grief, 

Its courage braver, firmer its belief; 

Its heavy cross becomes its ornament. 



"ONE TAKEN, AND THE OTHER LEFT." 



The lonely day wears slow, 

Let me arise and go, 
O Father, where for me my angel waits ! 

I dare not face the years, 

I wet with longing tears 
The threshold of the closed celestial gates. 



80 POEMS. 

She waits for me, I know, 

Let me arise and go, 
With my deep love to make her heaven more fair. 

I know she needs me not ; 

Yet there can be no spot 
Which would not brighten for her were I there. 

Ah, Lord, I miss her so ! 

Let me arise and go 
To meet her in the fair celestial plains. 

The storm-clouds shroud us here, 

The night is dark and drear, 
But where she lives Thy glorious morning reigns. 

Let me arise and go ! 

Thou answerest, sweet and low, 
" Not yet, poor heart ! take up the task she leaves. 

Reap thou where she has sown, 

Glean where her hands have strewn, 
Then come to meet her with her golden sheaves! " 



PRAYER IN SLEEP. 



I saw our darling in my dreams, 
As patient, weak and frail, 

As in those sweet last days; before 
She passed beyond the Vail. 



PRAYER IN SLEEP. 8 1 

And with an anxious questioning 

I thought of all the care, 
The heavy burden of our life 

God giveth us to bear. 

How can her feebleness sustain 

This last new stroke of grief? 
The storm she dreaded, breaks at last, 

God send her soul relief! 

So fervently I prayed for her, 
That God would guard and keep 

Her dear heart from the touch of woe, 
It woke me from my sleep. 

Then I remembered she was gone, 

I knew she was in heaven, 
Beyond the shadow of the cloud 

That o'er our sky hath driven. 

No anxious care need wake for her, 

No grief, no fear, no prayer ; 
There is no trouble that can reach 

Her gentle spirit there. 

Thank God, who took her safely Home 

Before this sorrow fell ! 
It loses half its sting for us, 

Since she is shielded well. 

6 



8 2 POEMS, 

No wish that love can frame for her, 
Nor heart's most full request 

But God hath granted. In her peace, 
Heaven's peace, let love find rest. 



MIDXKJIIT OV THE OLD YEAR, 



W ancient bell. from yonder dusky tower 

With solemn knell 
That swells and dies across the sea, 
The dark, illimitable, surging sea, 
Tolls out the midnight hour. 



■.->' 



A passing bell, that tolls the dying year. 

Its deep tones tell 
How came and went the months, like its own sound, 
Ringing a moment through the dark profound, 

Then dying- on the ear. 



One! January's purpose high 
Anil joyous hope. 

O broken hope ! O purpose vain ! they die 
\s these last tone pulsations faint and die 
Beneath the starry cope. 



MIDNIGHT OF THE OLD YEAR. 83 

Two! February, sharp and cold. 

Scorn's icy breath, 
Self-scorn, the winter of the soul, death-cold, 
The bitter world's neglect. The knell is tolled, 

The knell that speaks its death. 



Three! March, whose wild and stormy strife 
Of wind and gale 

Aroused the latent powers and germs of life, 
Stirred hope, where hope seemed dead ; awoke young 

life, 

Long since grown weak and pale. 

Four! April came and went, more fair and sweet 

Than words can say, 
Sweet hope, sweet promise, budding, incomplete, 
Dear tender springing joys ! how fleet 

The wings on which ye sped away! 

Five ! May, bright May ! when day by lovely day, 

The word, God's token, 
Which all things lisping tried to say, 
Grew plainer, (dearer, May, too, passed away, 

The heavenly word half-spoken. 



84 POEMS. 

Six ! June ! Oh, perfect joy and sunny rest ! 

O singing birds ! 
O sunshine wide ! O song from east to west ! 
O flush of flowers ! O gladness unexpressed 

For all her wealth of magic words ! 



Seven ! Hot July, the fever of the heart, 

The yearning pain 
Which passionate love must know. The smart 
Of burning sunshine, aching pangs that dart 

Through joy's intensest strain ! 

Eight ! August ; faint regrets for perished spring 

And summer's fall. 
It hopes no further blossoming, 
No more young shoots from moss-grown boughs can 

spring, 

Life hath brought all that it will bring ! 

Nine ! Rich September followed to unsay 

What doubt had said ; 
Ripeness, when bloom hath passed away, 
Fruit, when are fallen bud and blossom gay, 

And immortelles for roses dead. 



MIDNIGHT OF THE OLD YEAR. 85 

Ten ! Lo, October, crowned with happiness 

And clothed with praise, 
After all loss, stretched forth her hands to bless, 
And showed an aftermath of rich success 

That filled with joy her peaceful clays. 

Eleven ! November gleaned the lonely field 

Of latest flowers, 
Treasures of beauty age can yield, 
Joys from the brighter hours of life concealed 

Beyond their quickly-fading bowers. 

Twelve! Dark December with its nights so drear, 

And short gray days, 
Brought us the Christmas-tide, whose dear 
And blessed Star lights up the dying year 

And fills the night with hope and praise. 



The twelve-fold knell hath ceased : the year is gone, 

The year is dead ! 
The clock hath struck, but still it ticketh on, 
No pause, no break ! the tread of time goes on, 

Nor heedeth what is gone, or what is dead. 



86 POEMS. 



MARCH, 



O Winter dead and gone ! 
O sorrow past ! 
The blessed comfort of the Spring 

Draws near at last ! 
Shout, happy winds, and call the birds, 

And shy sweet early flowers, 
Call the young leaves and tender grass, 
And warm and gentle showers. 

O Spring, unseen but near ! 
O joy to be ! 
We hail thy coming wealth of bloom, 

We wait for thee ! 
We greet thy blue-winged messengers, 

We hear the robin's song, 
Thy balmy breath awakes dear hopes 
And longings sweet and strong. 

O Winter dead and gone ! 
O sorrow past ! 
Thy long dark nights on coming days 
No shadow cast. 



LAST SUMMER'S SONGS. 87 

O Wind of God, that breathest on 

The troubled sorrowing heart, 
Let the drear winter of its grief 

As utterly depart ! 

O Spring, unseen but near ! 
O joy to be ! 
We hail thy pure immortal bliss, 

We wait for thee ! 
Send down thy white-winged messengers, 

Breathe on us airs of balm, 

A foretaste, after wintry storms, 

Of cloudless blessed calm. 



LAST SUMMER'S SONGS. 



O little bird, just come from lands of summer, 

Back to our bleaker shore, 
Thou singest gaily in the green elm-branches 

That held thy rest before, 
The same glad notes of love, of mirth, and triumph, 

Thy very song of yore. 

Hath then the changing year — (alas, its changes ! ) 
No shadow on thee cast ? 



88 POEMS. 

And is to thee this summer — (this sad summer,) 

As sunny as the last? 
Are none of all thy little life's dear treasures 

Lost in the vanished past ? 

With thy triumphant carol thou repliest, 

Thy sweetest, gladdest strain. 
What knowest thou of trouble or of heart-break, 

Or memory of pain ? 
Sing thou thy lay ; we sing no more, — ah, never ! 

Last summer's songs again. 

But can I envy thee, thou happy warbler, 

At play among spring flowers, 
Thy little merry heart, that cannot suffer, 

For narrowness of powers, 
Thy sparkling cup of life, all insufficient 

To hold a loss like ours ? 

Nay, little bird, not I ! though mirth unmingled 

O'erflow thy lightsome breast. 
Through saddest minor chords we reach the key-note 

Of anthems of the blest, 
The heart that grief with heavy strokes hath deepened 

Can hold great raptures best. 



THOUGHTS FROM THE KORAN. 89 

THOUGHTS FROM THE KORAN. 



1.— A MESSAGE. 

Give ear, ye faithful, who are called to bear 
A heavy load of pain, or grief, or care ! 
Take refuge in firm patience, and in prayer. 

Hear ye God's message, patient souls who pray, 

Ye who can still amid all suffering, say 

" We are God's own, His will be done alway." 

To you glad tidings do I bring, and true. 
The God of all compassion is with you, 
And giveth you His blessing, rich and new. 

Three things He promiseth ; His presence sweet ; 
His blessing on your hearts ; His guidance meet 
In right and peaceful ways, for willing feet. 

2. — THE REFUGE. 

I fly for refuge to the God of Dawn, 

The Master of the breaking light of day, 

Lest night's deep darkness whelm me utterly. 
His hand can sweep the heavy gloom away. 



9 o 



POEMS. 



I fly for refuge to the Lord and King 

Who holds both men and spirits in control, 

That no device of malice or of guile 

May touch the peace and safety of my soul. 



A LOST JUNE. 



I was a prisoner through the month of June, 
Close-shut from all the season's dear delight, 
The prison-bars eclipsed its sunshine bright, 
The cold thick walls shut out the lark's glad tune. 
There came to me no share in all its boon 
Of beauty and of gladness infinite, 
Not one of all its roses \ not a white 
Sweet gleam, to dream in, of its crescent moon. 
Ah me ! I weep sometimes to think my year 
The sweetness of a June will never know ; 
That heaven itself cannot reverse the clear- 
Writ destiny, nor make the roses blow 
In drear December • no, nor waft their dear 
Warm fragrant breath across this drifted snow. 



DISILLUSION. 91 



DISILLUSION. 



Farewell, sweet dream! 'tis surely time to wake 

And shake from me the misty films of sleep. 

Across the sky thp tides of morning sweep, 

I must arise, and this illusion break. 

Farewell, sweet dream ! I may not even keep 

A tender memory of thee, to make 

Life warm and light and fragrant; no, nor take 

The dewy comfort of the eyes that weep. 

Farewell, sweet dream ! fade, fade ! I make no moan. 

The day shines cold across the open plain 

Yonder the pathway lies. I go alone. 

Doubtless my footsteps will be dogged by pain. 

Yea, so ; — but never let the flinty stone 

Be flushed by thy most fair mirage again. 



LOST DELIGHTS. 



Were all those lights which touched my life before, 
Dreams only ? Hopes and joys of vanished days, 
And exaltations in the starry rays 
Of vanished nights, alas ! were they no more 
Than flickering marsh-lights on a treacherous shore 



Q2 FOEMS. 

Of flat and dreary life ? A moment's blaze 
Of floating vapor on a pathless maze, 
The darker for their transient radiance o'er? 
Nay, saith my angel, they are stars that set 
Behind the hills of life that hem thee round. 
Doubt not their blessed light is shining yet. 
Behold, thy dim horizon's narrow bound 
Is but the shadow of heaven's parapet, 
Beyond which all thy lost delights are found. 



THE AURORA. 



I journey in the sunless arctic night, 

Across the dreary wild of arctic snows, 

Waste plains which lie in desolate repose. 

But all the dark is lit with Northern Light, 

The stars look out between its columns white, 

The snow is flushed beneath its wreaths of rose, 

Across my path a golden archway glows, 

And yonder gleam swift wings and garments bright. 

Not one of all the lovely forms will stay: 

E'en while I look on earth, it is withdrawn, 

And forth another shines, to fade away. 

( Hi, may the bright succession last till dawn! 

Dream after shifting dream gleam on, I pray, 

Till steadfast light ariseth with the morn! 



A NEW DAY. 93 



A NEW DAY. 



When sunlight faded from my yesterday, 
And o'er my heart the darkness spread its shroud, 
When only solemn stars looked through the cloud, 
Heaven's lamps, too high to light this earthly gray, 
I did not hope, or dream, or even pray 
For such a morn as this ! Birds sing aloud 
And roses bloom ! Meseemeth God hath bowed 
From heaven to make on earth a perfect day ! 
Yea, He who made my yesterday so fair, 
Hath set it in His bright immortal land 
To keep for me, and I shall find it there. 
Meanwhile He sendeth me from His right hand 
This new glad day. Did we but understand, 
His dark nights would not be so hard to bear. 



PRAYER FOR OTHERS. 



For my own individual needs I prayed 
In perfect confidence, a trustful prayer, — 
But when I prayed for others, I did bear 
A needless, anxious burden, as afraid 



94 POEMS. 

God would not hear ; as if the souls He made 

Were not the objects of more loving care 

In His great heart than mine, or anywhere 

The Shepherd had not followed when they strayed. 

— But late, O gentle Lord, Thou didst deny 

A gift I asked : then at my friend's request 

For me, didst smiling grant it instantly, 

Thereby to teach me, it is love's behest 

To which Thou listenest most tenderly, 

And which most eagerly Thou answerest. 



LETHARGY. 



She lieth dead, — pale, pulseless, without breath, 

Nay, if it is not death 
It is a heavy and most death-like trance. 

No melodies, no cries 

Can woo her open eyes 
To recognize her fair inheritance. 



&' 



For see, she is a queen. There lies her crown. 

Her pale hands hanging down 
Do almost touch her sceptre lying low. 

Oh, would she but arise 

And claim her royalties, 
And reign among her peers who love her so! 



LETHARGY. 95 

Lo, one by one they come who once could thrill 

Her heart which lies so still : 
Their sweet words fall on deaf insensate ears. 

Music and Poetry, 

Science and Beauty vie 
To win a listening look, or smiles, or tears. 

Nay, these must surely fail, for Love and Pain 
Have tried their spells in vain ; 

And Love and Pain are mightier than the rest. 
Lo, we have called the Lord 
To speak His kingly word 

And lay His hand upon her pulseless breast. 

He calleth her, but she doth not arise 

Or lift her leaden eyes. 
Can Christ Himself not bid this death depart ? 

Doubt not His power so ! 

Behold He bendeth low 
To fold her to His tender, beating heart ! 

Its throbbing love thrills all her drooping frame ; 

And life's reviving flame 
Kindles her listless eye and pallid cheek. 

Her chilled heart beats again, 

Her tears fall fast like rain, 
Her pale lips try their love and praise to speak. 



g6 poems. 

The Saviour raiseth her. He stoopeth down 

To lift her fallen crown 
And place it, with a blessing, on her brow, 

" Awake, my love ! " He saith, 

"I loved thee unto death. 
Because I live forevermore, live thou ! " 



"BEAUTIFUL UPON THE MOUNTAINS." 



I asked my Lord for clearer sight 
Of His dear face than I had known, 

For speech with Him, for sweet delight 
Of nearer access to His throne. 

And then, dear friend, He sent me thee. 

For revelation of His heart, 
And in His woodland sanctuary 

He met and talked with us apart. 

In silence of the mountain height, 
Where all the world beneath us lay, 

A blessing filled the holy night 
That hallows all my earthly way. 

Thy lips breathed peace o'er restless strife, 
For Christ's own grace to thee was given,- 

Thy thoughts, a rainbow bridging life, 
Thy heart, a ladder up to heaven. 



HEMLOCK FALLS. ' , 97 

bread of life for fainting heart ! 

O water from the heavenly springs ! 
Soul-weariness and care depart, 

My spirit spreads her long-closed wings. 

1 speak no thanks, for words are weak, 
And love is deeper than the sea. 

No words, no silent tears, can speak 
My gratitude to Him, and thee. 



HEMLOCK FALLS. 



The heavy shadows fall 

From hemlocks dark and tall 
Across the ground and on the gray rock-walf ; 

Young elms and maples press 

In vernal loveliness, 
With gayer hues the woodland scene to dress. 

The brook, so clear and cool, 

Falling from pool to pool, 
Through lights and shadows rare and beautiful, 

Poureth its crystal store 

Of singing waters o'er 
The rocky ledge down to its flower-strewn floor. 



98 POEMS. 

In spring's delightful hours 

The children gather flowers, 
Where this cascade sends down its spray in showers. 

They see its silver streams 

All lit with sunny gleams, 
And hear its voice like music of their dreams. 

But now that they have gone, 

The sweet voice singeth on 
With hint of something hidden in its tone. 

And thou and I will stay , 

And listen to its lay, 
And come more near its secret heart than they. 

The hemlock trees are old, 

And centuries have rolled 
Over these rocks. Yea, yonder blossom's gold 

Was minted yesterday ; 

And younger than all they 
Is this cascade, created new alway. 

A radiant water-sprite 

In robe of dazzling light 
Stands momently upon the moss-clad height. 

She slippeth smiling down, 

The diamonds of her crown 
Fall and are lost in rock-pools deep and brown. 



HEMLOCK FALLS. 99 

We raise our eyes once more, 

She standeth as before, 
Sparkling and singing, and she leapeth o'er, 

As gay, as fair, as bright, 

An ever-new delight, 
An ever-new creation in our sight. 

The Genius of the wood, — 

A living thing, endued 
With power to fill the sylvan solitude 

With dim imaginings 

Of spiritual things, 
Such as the presence of a live soul brings. 

To me she saith, " Who giveth, 

From higher springs receiveth, 
And only he who yieldeth life up, liveth. 

Behold, in faith I leap 

Over the mossy steep, 
And wells I know not, my supply do keep." 

" Behold," she saith to thee, 
" I am God's love, so free, 
So joyous, flowing from eternity, 
Flowing forevermore, 
Flowing to rich and poor, 
Flowing because its deep fount runneth o'er." 



100 POEMS. 

She saith to thee and me, 
" Receive my baptism ! ye 
Shall henceforth live more pure and worthily, 

And on your hearts I lay 

A memory of this day, 
In benediction that shall last alway." 



\ 



BETTEE DAYS. 



God hath made a fair new star 

To shine with sudden light 

Above the dreary height, 
Whose shadow, dark and far, 
Hath stretched across my day and night. 
And the night will henceforth never 

Be so dark as before, 
Nor the day so bleak on sea and shore, 
For God's lights burn on forever, 

Yea, forevermore. 

God hath sent an angel here 

Out of the Summer-Land, 

To take me by the hand 
And lead me up more near 
The levels where His mansions stand. 



BETTER DAYS. ioi 

And already, wafted slowly, 

Comes a breath of heaven's air, 
Mild and warm, and rich with fragrance rare, 
Full of music sweet and holy, 

Calm with answered prayer. 



THE END.